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Case Study: What a Nasal Spray Can Teach You About Marketing

Every year, while many products are launched, few survive.
Soon enough, most disappear due to a variety of factors including poor marketing, competitive pressures, distribution challenges and, fatally, market indifference.
So, what can we learn from a launch that worked incredibly well?
To make those lessons even more instructive, we’re going to review how GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in the US created such a successful launch campaign for Flonase, an OTC (Over the Counter) allergy relief brand.
The healthcare industry isn’t always known for its marketing creativity. When everything clicks, however, it clicks big.
That’s why Meredith Herman, GSK’s head of digital marketing was just chosen as one of Adweek’s 10 Brand Geniuses for 2016.
Flonase’s success was no forgone conclusion. There were many established competitors out there fighting for every dollar, customer and share point.
As with most things that work, it always pays to simplify and focus on what’s important:
“From a digital standpoint, we know people are inundated with banners ads and marketing messages, and unlike TV or print, they have the option to skip, scroll past or just X us out. So we understand that we have to provide the consumer with value first,” Herman told FiercePharma.
So, what are the simple steps GSK took:
They coordinated their digital, TV and print campaigns.
This is something brands of all types don’t do enough of—reaching their audience members across all channels in a coordinated fashion.
For their Flonase launch, GSK built a coordinated media approach spanning TV, print and digital. Even though these channels were coordinated, they still had different goals for each, which was key in the success of their campaign.
TV was used to introduce people to the brand, as it provided the most general audience. The digital objective was to explain more about how the product worked, and build a platform for conversation with customers.
This was key for GSK. They needed to create initial brand awareness for their new product, but that wasn’t going to be enough to compete in a saturated healthcare market. By coordinating with their digital campaign, they were able to do both—build awareness, and start a convincing conversation with potential buyers.
They listened to their customers and found the perfect tagline.
Yes, listening to your customers is one of the most powerful and obvious things you can do to boost a marketing campaign of any kind; you just have to do it the right way.
Herman and her team wanted to drive more organic searches so they started researching what allergy sufferers were looking for.
They found that allergy sufferers felt they weren’t getting relief with their current allergy meds and didn’t like missing out on fun activities when allergies were triggered.
From there, Herman and her team developed the tagline and theme, encouraging sufferers to “Be greater than your allergies.”
Healthcare is something very personal, and touches on many powerful, core human emotions. Leveraging the power of your current customer base as a healthcare brand can help you tap into the emotions your customers already have, instead of guessing for every media campaign.
They got visual with social media.
You’ve heard many times that visual campaigns and social media go together. Sometimes you get it right, and sometimes you get it REALLY right. GSK launched it’s first online content initiative with Instagram, and it was an immense success.
GSK used six Instagram photographers with allergies who snapped photos along 24-hour journeys through the outdoors—hay fields, dandelion patches and hanging out with pets.
This visual confirmation that Flonase worked for them fuelled the “24 Hours of Being Greater” campaign, and GSK invited people to share their own photos. They did. Between 5,000 and 6,000 pictures were posted.
Herman and her team didn’t stop there: they came back a few months later with a celebrity dog “Doug the Pug,” and asked people to share their own photos again on Instagram with the hashtag #FallofFame.
It wasn’t just photos, they leveraged videos as well. In spring 2016, Flonase worked with YouTube-famous family the Eh Bees to go on an allergy road trip to 10 of the worst cities for allergy sufferers; she had a great time, and shared her experience online.
In a complicated and clinical healthcare world, humanising Flonase by leveraging the experiences of customers is really what took GSK’s social campaign from good to great. The proof is in the numbers.
According to Adweek, Flonase generated sales of $100 million in the first 16 weeks after its launch. Not only that— they captured 10% of the market just one year after launch.
The key to a successful marketing campaign is knowing your market and your audience. If you have a good handle on both, you can support product campaigns with relevance, creativity and entertainment for your current customers and potential customers.
Easier said than done, of course but that’s why the brand and their owners that do it well reap the rewards initially and for years to come.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

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Is Your Company Ready for iOS 9?

Last month, on June 8th, Apple introduced its newest operating system called iOS 9. The system will be for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad and will be released in a few months. The new system will include all the...

Social Media Training = Better Boss

If you are the CEO of your own company or at least a senior executive, you should know how valuable social media training can be. There is no doubt that social media marketing has become one of the most powerful forms of digital marketing strategies. Success does come to those who choose to incorporate various social media platforms with their traditional marketing campaigns. And yet despite the call for management to learn more about how it’s done, there are still a lot of them who dismiss it as just another fad. Sadly, these are the brands that usually screw up their digital and social media campaigns.
Social media training can give your staff the skills to become effective marketers and efficient users of your own social media pages. Here are some things you can do to ensure all the hard work that your social media team has put in, is worth it.
•    Choose the holidays you participate in. Not all holidays are to be celebrated. Some of them, like Australia’s Anzac Day or the tragedy of 9/11 are meant to be remembered and respected.  Brand participation should be avoided at all costs.
•    Pick the forums you join. Content marketing is a good means of sharing the top reasons why people should choose your brand, no matter what goods or services you provide. However, it’s best to refrain from joining forums and discussions online that may be about your brand or that of your competitor. You don’t need to justify why your services or products are the best, leave it to us, as consumers, to decide for ourselves.
•    When you do something wrong online, just say sorry. Forgiveness is hard to give to those who don’t recognise their mistakes. Mistakes made online should be recognised, dealt with and then hopefully, forgotten. An apology for an inappropriate email, post or picture would be greatly understood by your beloved followers. After all, they chose to follow you for a reason.
•    Always stay up to date. Being online is great and all, but if you do not keep your skills and Intel up to date, you will fall behind, and fast. The social media scene is especially fickel and constantly changing, once you think you are a master of Facebook marketing, there will be new features, algorithms and 3 new social networks that attracts more people.
Social media training, despite a very busy schedule, can make a difference. A boss who continues to improve himself through all types of training is a boss that his employees will surely look up to.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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Is Samsung’s S4 a Disappointment?

The smartphone battle is almost reminiscent of World War II: bombs thrown at both sides of the opposing camps and each one working on artillery and armor that can blow off the other. And much like any warfare, each battalion is working towards only one goal: power.
As for the smartphones battle, power is that of a bigger market share. A bigger bite in the pool of consumers means more money!
This has exactly been the story of mobile phone manufacturers Apple and Samsung. Over the past years, the two companies have been on each others tail, trying to push the other off the running for the top spot in the smartphone market race. They have taken strides to work on customer acquisition and customer retention in the hopes of knocking off the competition. Their best effort, however, in winning this battle is by releasing new and more technologically forward devices.
Apple has led the smartphone battle for some time before Samsung took over the lead with its greater range of smartphone. Using a distinct digital marketing strategy, the South Korean company has led the race by offering the market a distinct handset for every price range and demographic. However, it seems that Samsung is following the footsteps of its rival.
Is the Galaxy S4 Samsung’s Achilles’ heel?
Samsung released its newest flagship smartphone, Galaxy S4 earlier this year, and so far it was received with open arms. Everyone in social media was raving about its new features, and the electronics manufacturing company continued to provide consumers with updates and highlights of the phones features on both Facebook and Twitter. However, the sales didn’t reach expectations.
According to Bloomberg, Samsung’s operating costs for three months which ended in June was at 9.5 trillion won ($8.3 billion). While this may post great numbers, it still fell short of the 10 trillion won that was originally estimated for the brand by more than 30 analysts. This also caused the stocks of Samsung to drop the most in a single month.
Now, investors are worrying whether Samsung has already reached its peak and are now on their way down. However, a Samsung share-holder doubts this analogy.
“Is Samsung’s smartphone story now over? Not quite yet. Its growth is indeed slowing due largely to disappointing sales of the S4,” Jung Sang-jin, fund manager at Dongbu Asset Management and Samsung share-holder, told Reuters.
“Yet I think Samsung has some exciting stuff up its sleeves. The problem is no one is sure whether these products can really wow investors and consumers.”
Low-end the New Trend?
Reports also say that Samsung is not solely to blame for its slump, but that the market is already changing. According to, the high-end market is slowly becoming saturated and fewer consumers are choosing phones for their specifications as opposed to their price. The report also noted that a new niche in the smartphone market is slowly emerging, with users preferring low-end smartphones.
“This has typically been an area where Samsung has not been quite so successful,” IT Pro Portal wrote. “A growing demand from China for low-cost smartphones puts a little pain on Samsung’s profit margins.”
With all these in mind, Samsung should return to the drawing boards and get its mobile marketing strategies in full swing if it wants to keep its crown as smartphone leader.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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When Will Apple Release its new iPhone?

It’s that time of the year again: the time people await the release of the next iPhone.
For non-Apple smartphone users, this is when they assess whether the upcoming device is good enough for them to make the switch; and for Apple users, this is when they salivate endlessly at all the rumors circulating about the new iPhone.
iPhone users may very well be one of the most loyal of fans. Some even say that “once an Apple user, always an Apple user.” This may be because of the user friendly interface that the consumers have come to love; or the almost perfect size and shape it has always been known for; or the ever-growing hoard of features and applications that are available on the device. Regardless, its customer retention strategy has been pretty commendable.
Now, rumors have been swirling that Apple isn’t looking to release one new device this year, but two. According to reports the Cupertino, a California-based company is looking at a new way to approach the market and work on building a better relationship with consumers.
Latin Post reports that two new Apple iPhones will be headed for the market before the year ends, and so far not one of those devices have been confirmed. Published news articles say the two new devices will be an iPhone 5 successor and a low-cost iPhone.
The new iPhones
Apple has continued to keep mum about anything and everything stirring up within the four (or more) corners of its tech lab in Cali. No word has been said about the new devices, nor is there any confirmation on what the new smartphones will be called.
However, a number of websites, as well as social media, have been throwing out names of the upcoming devices.
“According to recent reports, Apple will release the successor to its iPhone 5: the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6,” wrote the Latin Post. “Additionally, a budget Apple phone will allegedly be released as well. It is expected to be called the iPhone 5C or the iPhone Lite; some also say it will be the real iPhone 6.”
The probable iPhone 5S is expected to be packed with the new Apple operating system, the iOS 7. It is also reported to carry a more powerful A7 quad core processor, as well as additional features to optimise security, including a fingerprint sensor.
A closer look at the iPhone Lite
The iPhone Lite is said to be Apple’s attempt at customer acquisition. As statistics prove, Samsung has been leading the mobile market for years now, because of its more budget-friendly devices. With the new iPhone Lite, Apple aims at attracting more users for the iPhone.
While Apple has no word on this yet, a China Labor Watch report revealed that a manufacturing plant in the country is already working on the devices. The phone will carry a plastic back cover that will make its production cheaper, and its tag price cheaper too.
“Today’s work is to paste protective film on the iPhone’s plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines,” a Pegatron worker noted on the report. “This iPhone model with a plastic cover will soon be released on the market by Apple,” added the report.
With all these information, it does seem that Apple’s campaigns this year is to gain more users by releasing two iPhones.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Featured Images Courtesy: 1000 Words / Shutterstock.com

What’s Next? A Double Major in Social Media?

Now schools have also noticed the importance of social media in our every day lives…
Social media…[sigh]…Where do we even begin to explain this phenomenon?   How did social networking become one of the main sources of information today?  How is it even possible that this simple mode of communication can make its way all over the world to be read by billions of people online?  Thankfully, it doesn’t matter if we know the answers to all these questions or not, it will still be the powerful communication platform that it is.
We can’t deny the fact that it is the digital age and social media is here to stay.  According to a May 2013 report by the Huffington Post, the top five social media sites alone have a combined 2 billion users.  Smartphone users check their Facebook status at an average of 14 times a day and 79% of them check their phones for social media updates within 15 minutes from the time they wake up.
This online platform is so strong that it is now also being considered a tool in the field of education.  A number of schools around the world have started to adopt this new technology into their curriculum, their method of teaching and their method of news dissemination.  A number of campaigns have also been pushing for the use of this platform around the world.  As a matter of fact, the same Huff report suggests that 80% of college faculty members use social media and 50% of professors use it in their classes.
Here are a few of the examples of how social media is being used in education:
Ngee Ann Secondary School Tweeting Answers
Singapore has grown to be an economic leader in South East Asia and as it embraces technology, the country’s government is looking into implementing social media in education.
Among the schools that already use this platform is Ngee Ann Secondary School.  In a report by Euro News, during one of the school’s math classes the teacher posts a question and asks the students to send her the answer via twitter in which she projects them on screen.  This form of online communication in schools is what the Singaporean government calls “future school.”
New York City’s Digital Literacy
As the social media continues to permeate the society, the city that never sleeps has also embraced the idea to optimise technology by relating it into education.
The New York City Department of Education has a new position called Director of Digital Literacy and Citizenship held by Lisa Nielsen. She is the very first person to hold the position. Asked what the nature of her work is, Lisa says:
“This year we are focused on helping teachers develop their own digital literacy. Next year, we’ll be focusing more on students interacting with each other online,” she told the Huffington Post. “I’m heavily involved in the use of social media and I’m not aware of other school districts who have a position like this.”
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Smartphone Use to Quadruple by 2018

Smartphones are now a necessity, and funny as it may seem, most of us have more than one of these gadgets: one for work and one for play.
Smartphone Subscription and Video Content
According to a report by Reuters, the number of smartphone subscribers in the world could multiply by four times in the next five years.  Ericcson, the world’s largest mobile network equipment supplier, also notes that because of the growth in users, mobile networks will also experience an incredible increase in data usage.

Smartphone users will increase dramatically due to the continuous campaigns and advertisements about new technologies being made available to the public.  Ericcson notes that from 2012’s 1.5 billion, subscribers in the world will reach 4.5 billion in 2018.  This figure is also greater than the company’s 3.3 billion forecast last year.
Just as well, because of the close relationship between smartphones and the Internet, mobile data is expected to shoot up as well.  Ericcson, who is also a leading supplier of high speed networks, notes that data traffic will also multiply by as much as 12 times in 2018. This will also push mobile networks to invest on high-speed Internet systems if they want customer retention.
According to the report, one of the leading reasons for the growth in mobile data usage is because of the online video content that is made available to portable devices users.  Nowadays, people can watch movies and even TV on their smartphones and tablets.
“Video makes up the largest segment of data traffic in networks, and it is expected to grow around 60% annually up until the end of 2018,” Ericsson told Reuters.
Reuters also noted that so far, data traffic has already doubled from the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period this year.
What does this mean for the Business sector?
While this news can be interesting for the common consumer, it could be the biggest light bulb for you and your business.  Acknowledging that the Internet is the future, your brand or service can take advantage of mobile marketing that are pressed into mobile websites and applications.
Also, since smartphone subscribers often use their devices to check their emails, or even have their mails “pushed” into their phones, your brand can take this opportunity to utilize email marketing.  Just imagine the global reach you will have if you take advantage of this digital marketing strategy.
Ericcson admits that it is investing heavily on video technology to utilise the growth in this market.  And just like Ericcson, you can also take advantage of this opportunity to grow your brand and your revenue.

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.


Those killjoys at Apple have corrected auto-correct, but the memories live on at The Message…
While the worst you could do on a mobile phone a few years ago was send an inappropriate drunk message (or perhaps throw it at someone in fury, if you’re Russell Crowe), the advent of the iPhone has meant that every day, thousands of people get themselves into digital pickles because of a feature that is actually meant to make the iPhone easier to use.
The autocorrect feature on the iPhone has caused so many miscommunications that it has spawned a number of websites, purely dedicated to airing the hilarious texting faux pas that come about due to this ‘helpful’ little function. Here are a few doozies to keep you cackling…




Thigh-slappingly funny as these are, alas the feature has been improved so that less of these entertainingly confusing situations arise. After Android phones brought in a feature that allows the user to pick from a range of words, rather than simply changing it for them, Apple jumped onboard as well with its new operating system.
Thank God the Internet caught on and archived this hilarity before it was too late…
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Social Media Dictatorship

Facebook has moved the goalposts, shattering the illusion of the democracy of the Internet

Ah, the democracy of social media. The way it gives a voice to the individual has been talked about, written about, posted about and tweeted about. And it’s true – up to a point.
But as with society in general, there is still a limit. The role social media played in the Arab Spring revolutions of 2010 and 2011 has been well-documented. But questions are already being asked about (and, in the case of Egypt, demonstrations are being held in relation to) about how much – or how little – has actually changed.
It is the same in the business world. Sure, angry customers can use social media to vent about something a company does, but that company has the ability to silence those online voices (at least on its own social media and online sites) if it chooses to do so.
Who controls social media?
There are countless examples of Facebook posts being removed because they criticise a company’s opinions or actions. Of course, doing that is top of the list of things NOT to do in content marketing, because rather than engaging with people and attempting to learn why they are angry and what you can do to fix it (thereby keeping them as customers and increasing the chance of getting people they recommend) it simply sends the message that you don’t care. Which means they are going to jump on a different social media forum and tell the world exactly that.

In fact, it is situations just like the one described above that perpetuates the notion that the Internet in general – and social media in particular – is a democratising force. But how democratic is it if the way the Net and social media are controlled actually only favours a few?
At an extreme level, we have countries like North Korea, Iran and China where the Internet is closely controlled by the authorities. But even in the ‘free world’, the Net we all access, from Australia to Argentina, is effectively owned by the US. Dig down a level and we see that companies are vying to control new top-level domain names, which in turn allows them to control the content within them.
How democratic does that sound?

Facebook fuels the fire
And now Facebook has embarked on the path to dictatorship by stripping its users of the power to endorse or reject policy changes through popular vote.

To maintain the veneer of public accountability, Facebook held a referendum on the issue. 668,125 members voted in it, with 87 per cent opposing the change. You would think that represented a pretty overwhelming rejection of the Facebook proposal. But here’s the catch…
Facebook said that if less than 30% of its members failed to vote, it would be free to go forward with a plan to eliminate the existing voting structure, denying people the right to have a say in its future direction, and to also integrate Instagram data for advertising purposes.
Given that Facebook has a billion members, that means 300 million people worldwide needed to vote (with the majority of them opposing the proposal) in order to block the change. Talk about loading the dice!
Which again raises the question: Is the notion of the democracy of social media an illusion? Is it really nothing more than a dictatorship?
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